SALT LAKE CITY — The Department of Justice released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report about Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election on Thursday morning.
The report, which can be read on the DOJ’s website, outlines a number of moves by President Donald Trump’s administration. Attorney General William Barr held a press conference before the report’s release to explain his redactions.
In the end, Mueller’s report revealed an effort by Trump to stop the Russia inquiry, according to The New York Times. But it stopped short of calling for obstruction of justice charges.
Opinion pieces from multiple news organizations made their way along. We’ve rounded up a few of them and shared them below.
The Washington Post editorial board wrote that Mueller’s report isn’t a full exoneration, as President Trump claims.
- “Lawmakers should insist on reading the entire report, including substantial sections that have been redacted from public view. Then they may face a difficult balancing act between the many valid reasons to regard impeachment as a last resort, and their responsibility to ensure that no one is above the law.”
The New York Times editorial board outlined what’s next after the report.
- “So what now? Although Mr. Mueller was unable to bring criminal charges against the president himself, his report lays a foundation for investigation by Congress, which has the authority and the responsibility to check the executive branch and hold the president accountable.”
The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry wrote that conspiracy theorists shouldn’t worry: President Trump didn’t redact parts of the Mueller report.
- “In short, all of those attributions of ill will to Barr and the White House over Barr having given the president an opportunity to see the report (all mostly done by the media) were nothing.”
Andrew McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, wrote for Fox News that the media’s complaints about Barr’s press conference that preceded the Mueller report’s unveiling was a case of whining.
- “For these and other reasons, it is palpably proper for the attorney general to call a press conference. In a less politicized media environment, there would be complaints only if such a press conference were not called.
- “But the media-Democrat complex is in full spleen-venting mode — as if Congress had enacted a law that compels journalists to attend executive branch press conferences.”
Julian Zelizer of CNN wrote that it’s time for Congress to act after the Mueller report.
- “The obligation to make sense of this information falls on Congress. House Democrats will be under immense pressure now to make sense of what it all adds up to and to determine whether the President abused his power. There will be great political pressure on House Democrats to avoid doing so — after all, it is time to focus on the election — but it would be a mistake to allow the activities outlined in this report to be normalized and to see accountability fall by the wayside.”
Elie Honig also wrote for CNN that Barr’s redactions will impact how the American people read the report.
- “With the redacted version of the Mueller report and the press conference he gave to help spin it, William Barr has cemented his status as a crafty partisan whose primary tricks are to cloak his political moves to shape public opinion and to protect President Trump under a thin sheen of law and process.”
Dan Balz of The Washington Post writes that the Mueller report shows Trump’s presidency is anything but normal.
- “Many Americans already have reached their own conclusions about the president, pro and con. They are likely to take from the Mueller report whatever they can find to reinforce those judgments. The legal findings have provided good news for the president, but he will still face the judgment from voters in November 2020 about what they want of and expect from a president. Russia might not be at the top of voters’ minds when they cast those ballots, but the Mueller report will stand as documentation of a presidency that is anything but normal or customary.”
Joshua A. Geltzer and Ryan Goodman wrote for The New York Times that Mueller’s report hints at a national security nightmare for the United States.
- “The stark reality is that one might have a moderate to high confidence that decisions are being made by an American president who, in the process of getting elected and after assuming office, has acted with the interests of an often-hostile foreign power influencing him. And that conclusion is deeply worrisome as a national security matter.”
Christopher Buskirk wrote for The New York Times that Barr was right about everything and called on everyone who thought differently to admit they were wrong.
- “To the public figures who promoted the collusion story, I say: Own it. Just admit you were wrong. It won’t feel good at first. But when the initial sting passes you will find it liberating. And people will respect you for it. The media and political elites have a lot of work to do if they want to regain the trust of the American people. Confessing a major error that needlessly turned Americans against one another is a good place to start.”
David Brooks of The New York Times writes that the Mueller report found there’s no collusion, but that there is corruption.
- “The Mueller report indicates that Trump was not colluding with Russia. But it also shows that working relationships were beginning to be built, through networkers like Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone. More important, it shows that many of the Trumpists, the Russians and the WikiLeaks crowd all understood that they were somehow adjacent actors in the same project.”